Escape to a Better Climate, Parka Not Required – Current Offerings at Holland Area Arts Council are Just the Ticket
By Colette Finney
With an endless palette of gray aloft and slush underfoot, two exhibits at the Holland Area Arts Council are just the balm for sagging seasonal spirits. On display in the Padnos Gallery, The Art of Living with Joy offers close to 75 delightful visions from accomplished local artists, Alla Dickson and Carolyn Stich. While both favor different media and very distinctive styles, the collaboration harmonizes, weaving a ribbon of gratitude from one piece to another in appreciation for the simple things in life most of us take for granted.
The Art of Living with Joy, Padnos Gallery, Holland Area Arts Council
Employing bold gouache colors accented with black ink, each of Carolyn Stich’s original pieces radiates warmth and happiness. Exploring a range of subjects, there is joy to behold for all ages, from a sunset sailboat ride or charming downtown scenes, to elated animals and her popular series known as The Girls.
Merlot Tulips, Alla Dickson
Equally lively are Alla Dickson’s ethereal florals painted on canvas in bold strokes of oil paint. While the technique first appears to be delicate, upon closer inspection after the viewer is able to feel the exuberance of wildflowers dancing in the fields, or relish a virtual stroll down Tulip Lane erupting with vibrant blooms. Dickson’s painting Spectacle was selected for the 2016 Tulip Time poster.
Stich and Dickson transport the viewer to times when best memories are made, during seasons of sunshine, with the warmth of the sun on your face, sounds of merriment and good company. Having seen their artistic growth over the last few years (while occasionally scoring a coveted piece), it is exciting to be able to view such a bountiful display all in one space. The Art of Living with Joy effectively chronicles their ongoing creativity and support of the local community.
Urban Punk, Armstrong Gallery, Holland Area Arts Council
The Armstrong Gallery currently features, Urban Punk: Digital Paintings by John Leben. Leben’s surreal landscapes explore environmental issues of restoration and renewal, offering an escape that temporarily transports the viewer far, far away from the icy roads and bitter temperatures. Using striking imagery and humor, Leben creates these eccentric masterpieces digitally, pulling the viewer into the lattice of a story, leaving you entangled until you walk away enlightened by the meaning behind the message. I was deeply intrigued, and to be honest, It was difficult to pull myself away.
The current works on display are worthy of battling the elements, I would highly recommend a visit to the HAAC before these exhibits close, as it may be the best method to wrestle the wrath of a West Michigan winter.
The Art of Living with Joy and Urban Punk: Digital Paintings by John Leben, can be seen at the Holland Area Arts Council through Saturday, February 27.
For more information, contact the HAAC at (616) 396-3278 or online at hollandarts.org.
The Holland Area Arts Council
150 East 8th StreetHolland, Michigan 49423
Admission is Free
Hours of Operation: